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to lookout points where views extend across the bay. Teams removed 719,000 pounds of spent ammunition while transitioning this land from post to state park, and scientists continue restoring the natural dunes that house threat- ened western snowy plovers, California legless lizards and other rare species. Restoration has been more complex across Highway 1 at Fort Ord National Monument, where extensive ordinance removal and cleanup continues on 7,450 acres now under BLM man- agement. An additional 7,200 acres of parkland opened to the public in 2012. Today, visitors might see bobcats, badgers, red-tailed hawks or California quail while exploring 86 miles of hik- ing, mountain biking and equestrian trails. Those trails cross through grasslands, woodlands and rich, rare maritime chaparral habitats. BLM For t Ord National Monument Manager Eric Morgan recommends accessing the park from Highway 68, via the Creekside Trailhead or the Badger Hills Trailhead. From there, head to the monument's higher peaks for photo- wor thy views stretching from Santa Cruz to Pacific Grove. "When you're driving around here, you realize just how large 28,000 acres is," Morgan says. "Fort Ord occupied a giant chunk of prime real estate. Even though the monument gets about 400,000 annual visitors, you can get out in the center of it and not see anybody. It's pretty remarkable." For Fort Ord National Monument maps and brochures, please visit Fort Ord; to listen to a free cell phone tour of the park, call 831/998-9458. The Rumsien people were the first inhabitants of the park, and traveled around the area to gather plants, hunt and fish. Spanish explorers arrived in the 1600s; in the 1800s Mexico ruled California; and California became a US state in 1850. Officials at the grand opening included Marina Mayor Bruce Delgado, Supervisors Dave Potter and Jane Parker, Rep. Sam Farr and CA State Parks Director Ruth Coleman. 134 C A R M E L M A G A Z I N E • S P R I N G / S U M M E R 2 0 1 6 Photo: Shutterstock

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